Marketing Magazine asked Andy Sutherden, global head of sports marketing and sponsorship, Hill and Knowlton why brands are not jumping at football sponsorship opportunities outside the Premier League.
Football is not by itself: these are tough times for all rights holders, no question. Ask British Athletics, or the LTA, or the ECB. They have a touch of the Dear Deidrie’s, ie "lots of people are interested in me but they have commitment issues".
This is as much a reflection on the sponsorship market right now as it is football. The Olympic party from last year has left a hangover cutting deep into 2013, with companies taking a cautious approach to continued sponsorship investment. As well as the economic downturn, their caution is sometimes perpetuated by a lack of "sizzle" when presented with new opportunities.
The Football League and Football Conference have good products to sell, but what all sports governing bodies must understand above all else is that a more innovative approach to packaging and selling rights is the pre-requisite to converting interest into a signed contract. The price has to be realistic too. These are the dynamics of any market where supply exceeds demand."